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Oct 4, 2014 6:42 PM CST
| Since this year show is upon us I decided I need to hurry up and put up the last year’s in!
Each year New York botanical garden in Bronx stages the Japanese style mums show.
It is held around October November in the conservatory and goes on for several weeks.
Some years back they sent a stuff member for a year to Japan to learn about the technique
and now they can grow and train their mums right in their greenhouses.
You can see the plants outside under shade-cloth in early stages of the process in spring.
Mums are grown part-time in greenhouses part-time outside as a special temperature/light
requirements are necessary for a rather lengthy time period.
The show starts at the reflection pond in the Palms of the World Gallery.
The pots are positioned to float as if suspended above the still waters.
And they are suspended atop of an underwater pot .
But you can’t see past 'the mirror' – so the illusion is perfect.
On to the glass hall that connects to the 2nd atrium. Here we have rows of marching soldiers on parade:
giant blooms in receding rows: oogiku = Big Chrysanthemum style.
Spider mums are my favorites:
But there are daisies, thistles, brushes, pom-poms…and mops!
Also quills, spoons, anemonies. And I don’t think I got all of those…but they are there.
In the 2nd atrium there is another pond and mums, mums and more mums!
Some display styles like oodzukuri=‘Thousand flower’ might take 12 months, require a special bottom box
to be build and a supporting structure that is attached to it. It is very difficult to produce, to say the least.
And believe it or not, it is just 1 plant (!) – you can see a single stem rising up into the structure,
if you lean and look underneath the base.
Of course, training is not done just by one person, but by a trained team of stuff. There are various structures
to be developed: mounds, arcs, cascades,etc. And all large flowers are supported by a wire frame for perfect
presentation and to assure that the bloom does not twist.
Kengai = ’Cascade’ style is very elegant. And then there is this very special tree-mount.
I couldn’t help myself: I just HAD to crawl in there to see what’s doing underneath!?
As you can see, it’s plastic zips, bamboo and chicken wire…
I am very interested in how they pinch/prune the plants to achieve a certain shape.
And when is the structure put in place? And how it’s all held together?
So I found this link that describes it.
I think some of the pruning techniques can be adopted for the garden, at least in a simplified form.
This is the story in Washington Post of the head gardener and her team that make the exhibit possible (2008),
describing some of the details of training the plant on the structures.
Here's info on 2008 show
and 2011-12 shows.
New York Times article describing 2013 show.
A blog in English from Japan with more in-depth history of the customs.
And finally if you’re curious about what they have in Japan –
Just wow! Some of them I’ve never seen before. And doubt if I ever will…
Oct 8, 2014 4:20 PM CST
|These photographs are great, thank you for posting them and the links!
This, too, shall pass.
Oct 9, 2014 5:43 PM CST
|i just returned from 2014 bronx bot garden kiku show! more is coming soon!|
Oct 9, 2014 5:48 PM CST
This, too, shall pass.
Oct 11, 2014 8:14 AM CST
|Great show! The chrysanthemum's variability is legendary. The Japanese have perfected it into an art.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Feb 28, 2015 8:57 PM CST
|Wow there are spectacular blooms there,..some of those methods could easily be used in our own gardens,..very enjoyable tour.
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